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Substantive justice: how the substantive law shapes perceived fairness

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Psychology of justice research has demonstrated that individuals are concerned with both the process and the outcomes of a decision-making event. While the literature has demonstrated the importance of formal and informal aspects of procedural justice and the relevancy of

Psychology of justice research has demonstrated that individuals are concerned with both the process and the outcomes of a decision-making event. While the literature has demonstrated the importance of formal and informal aspects of procedural justice and the relevancy of moral values, the present study focuses on introducing a new form of justice: Substantive justice. Substantive justice focuses on how the legal system uses laws to constrain and direct human behavior, specifically focusing on the function and the structure of a law. The psychology of justice literature is missing the vital distinction between laws whose function is to create social opportunities versus threats and between laws structured concretely versus abstractly. In the present experiment, we found that participant evaluations of the fairness of the law, the outcome, and the decision-maker all varied depending on the function and structure of the law used as well as the outcome produced. Specifically, when considering adverse outcomes, individuals perceived laws whose function is to create liability (threats) as being fairer when structured as standards (abstract guidelines) rather than rules (concrete guidelines); however, the opposite is true when considering laws whose function is to create eligibility (opportunities). In juxtaposition, when receiving a favorable outcome, individuals perceived laws whose function is to create liability (threats) as being fairer when defined as rules (concrete guidelines) rather than standards (abstract guidelines).

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2011

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The effects of scarcity and self-esteem on the experience of envy

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Envy may be an emotion shaped by evolution to resolve large resource disparities in zero-sum ancestral environments. Previous research has found evidence for two types of envy: benign envy, which drives greater effort and self-improvement; and malicious envy, which drives

Envy may be an emotion shaped by evolution to resolve large resource disparities in zero-sum ancestral environments. Previous research has found evidence for two types of envy: benign envy, which drives greater effort and self-improvement; and malicious envy, which drives hostility toward the better-off target. We predicted that perceived resource scarcity would stoke either type, moderated by individual differences. Specifically, we predicted that high self-esteem would steer people toward benign envy and self-improvement, whereas narcissism would spark malicious envy. After completing the Rosenberg self-esteem scale and the Narcissism Personality Inventory (NPI-16), participants were randomly assigned to either read an article detailing severe cuts to university financial aid budgets (scarcity) or an article summarizing various forms of financial aid (control). Each article ended with the same envy-inducing paragraph about a particularly affluent scholarship-winner, after which participants completed a measure of both envy types, capturing feelings, appraisals, and behavioral tendencies. Results show that self-esteem predicts less malicious envy, while narcissism and scarcity predict more. Self-esteem and narcissism interact such that self-esteem dampens the effect of narcissism on malicious envy. Self-esteem predicted benign envy when narcissism was low, but not when it was high.

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2011

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Shared environment moderates the heritability of temperament in childhood

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The interplay of genes and environment on children's development is a complex dynamic process. As behavior geneticists begin to model protective as well as risk factors, and interactive as well as main effect influences, development is elucidated. It

The interplay of genes and environment on children's development is a complex dynamic process. As behavior geneticists begin to model protective as well as risk factors, and interactive as well as main effect influences, development is elucidated. It was hypothesized that positive parenting, a quality home environment, and high family cohesion would moderate the heritability of three components of temperament: Effortful Control, Negative Affectivity, and Extraversion/Surgency. Participants were drawn from the Wisconsin Twin Project and consisted of 1573 twins (51% boys), 88.5% Caucasian, M=7.93 years (SD=0.87). Higher order composites for the parenting and family environment moderators were formed from mother and father reports of Behavior Management Self-Assessment, Child Rearing Practices Report, Family Assessment Device, and Family Conflict Scale. Measures of the home environment (LEOS Living Environment Observation Scale and CHAOS Confusion, Hubbub, and Order Scale) were not composited due to the nature of the variables. Correlational analyses showed a majority of the temperament and environmental measures to be correlated (rs = -.49-.57). For Effortful Control, Negative Affectivity, and Extraversion/Surgency, estimates for the heritability and nonshared environment were 0.60 and 0.40, 0.80 and 0.20, and 0.59 and 0.41, respectively, with no significant main effects of the shared environment. Models incorporating environmental moderation of these estimates yielded parenting as a significant moderator for Negative Affectivity, LEOS for Effortful Control and Extraversion/Surgency, and CHAOS for Effortful Control and Extraversion/Surgency. Results suggest that the quality of the family environment may act as a permissive or determinative influence on the heritability and expression of temperament. Future analyses include the examination of interactive genetic influences. These findings underscore the importance of shared environment, and support the recent literature on the benefits of positive influences on children's development.

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2011

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Modeling acquisition of nicotine self-administration in rats

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Nicotine is thought to underlie the reinforcing and dependence-producing effects of tobacco-containing products. Nicotine supports self-administration in rodents, although measures of its reinforcing effects are often confounded by procedures that are used to facilitate acquisition, such as food restriction, prior

Nicotine is thought to underlie the reinforcing and dependence-producing effects of tobacco-containing products. Nicotine supports self-administration in rodents, although measures of its reinforcing effects are often confounded by procedures that are used to facilitate acquisition, such as food restriction, prior reinforcement training, or response-contingent co-delivery of a naturally reinforcing light. This study examined whether rats acquire nicotine self-administration in the absence of these facilitators. A new mathematical modeling procedure was used to define the criterion for acquisition and to determine dose-dependent differences in rate and asymptote levels of intake. Rats were trained across 20 daily 2-h sessions occurring 6 days/week in chambers equipped with active and inactive levers. Each active lever press resulted in nicotine reinforcement (0, 0.015, 0.03, 0.06 mg/kg, IV) and retraction of both levers for a 20-s time out, whereas inactive lever presses had no consequences. Acquisition was defined by the best fit of a logistic function (i.e., S-shaped) versus a constant function (i.e., flat line) for reinforcers obtained across sessions using a corrected Akaike information criterion (AICc) as a model selection tool. The results showed an inverted-U shaped function for dose in relation to the percentage of animals that acquired nicotine self-administration, with 46% acquiring at 0.015 mg/kg, 73% at 0.03 mg/kg, and 58% at 0.06 mg/kg. All saline rats failed to acquire as expected. For rats that acquired nicotine self-administration, multiple model comparisons demonstrated that the asymptote (highest number of reinforcers/session) and half learning point (h; session during which half the assymptote had been achieved) were justified as free parameters of the reinforcers/session function, indicating that these parameters vary with nicotine dose. Asymptote exhibited an inverted U-shaped function across doses and half learning point exhibited a negative relationship to dose (i.e., the higher the dose the fewer sessions to reach h). These findings suggest that some rats acquire nicotine self-administration without using procedures that confound measures of acquisition rate. Furthermore, the modeling approach provides a new way of defining acquisition of drug self-administration that takes advantage of using all data generated from individual subjects and is less arbitrary than some criteria that are currently used.

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2011

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Asymmetries in interpersonal coordination: recruiting degrees-of-freedom stabilizes coordination

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The current paper presents two studies that examine how asymmetries during interpersonal coordination are compensated for. It was predicted that destabilizing effects of asymmetries are stabilized through the recruitment and suppression of motor degrees-of-freedom (df). Experiment 1 examined this effect

The current paper presents two studies that examine how asymmetries during interpersonal coordination are compensated for. It was predicted that destabilizing effects of asymmetries are stabilized through the recruitment and suppression of motor degrees-of-freedom (df). Experiment 1 examined this effect by having participants coordinate line movements of different orientations. Greater differences in asymmetries between participants yielded greater spatial deviation, resulting in the recruitment of df. Experiment 2 examined whether coordination of movements asymmetrical in shape (circle and line) yield simultaneous recruitment and suppression of df. This experiment also tested whether the initial stability of the performed movement alters the amount of change in df. Results showed that changes in df were exhibited as circles decreasing in circularity and lines increasing in circularity. Further, more changes in df were found circular (suppression) compared to line (recruitment) movements.

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2013

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Neural plasticity in lower- and higher-level visual cortex processing

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Perceptual learning by means of coherent motion training paradigms has been shown to produce plasticity in lower and higher-level visual systems within the human occipital lobe both supra- and subliminally. However, efficiency of training methods that produce consolidation in the

Perceptual learning by means of coherent motion training paradigms has been shown to produce plasticity in lower and higher-level visual systems within the human occipital lobe both supra- and subliminally. However, efficiency of training methods that produce consolidation in the visual system via coherent motion has yet to be experimentally determined. Furthermore, the effects of coherent motion training on reading comprehension, in clinical and normal populations, are still nascent. In the present study, 20 participants were randomly assigned to one of four experimental conditions. Two conditions had a participation requirement of four days while two conditions required eight days of participation. These conditions were further divided into 500 or 1000 trials per day (4 x 500, 4 x 1000, 8 x 500, 8 x 1000). Additional pre-test and post-test days were used to attain timed pre- and post-tests on the Wide Range Achievement Test IV (WRAT IV) reading comprehension battery. Furthermore, a critical flicker fusion threshold (CFFT) score was taken on a macular pigment densitometer on the pre-test and post-test day. Participants showed significant improvement in CFFT levels, WRAT IV reading comprehension, and speed of completion between pre-test and post-test; however, degree of improvement did not vary as a function of training condition. An interaction between training condition and degree of improvement was evident in coherent dot motion contrast scores, with significant training plasticity occurring in the 4 x 1000 and 8 x 500 conditions.

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2013

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The effect of word frequency and dual tasks on memory for presentation frequency

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Frequency effects favoring high print-frequency words have been observed in frequency judgment memory tasks. Healthy young adults performed frequency judgment tasks; one group performed a single task while another group did the same task while alternating their attention to a

Frequency effects favoring high print-frequency words have been observed in frequency judgment memory tasks. Healthy young adults performed frequency judgment tasks; one group performed a single task while another group did the same task while alternating their attention to a secondary task (mathematical equations). Performance was assessed by correct and error responses, reaction times, and accuracy. Accuracy and reaction times were analyzed in terms of memory load (task condition), number of repetitions, effect of high vs. low print-frequency, and correlations with working memory span. Multinomial tree analyses were also completed to investigate source vs. item memory and revealed a mirror effect in episodic memory experiments (source memory), but a frequency advantage in span tasks (item memory). Interestingly enough, we did not observe an advantage for high working memory span individuals in frequency judgments, even when participants split their attention during the dual task (similar to a complex span task). However, we concluded that both the amount of attentional resources allocated and prior experience with an item affect how it is stored in memory.

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2013

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Neuromuscular control contributes to incidental learning: head orientation during visual statistical learning

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Incidental learning of sequential information occurs in visual, auditory and tactile domains. It occurs throughout our lifetime and even in nonhuman species. It is likely to be one of the most important foundations for the development of normal learning. To

Incidental learning of sequential information occurs in visual, auditory and tactile domains. It occurs throughout our lifetime and even in nonhuman species. It is likely to be one of the most important foundations for the development of normal learning. To date, there is no agreement as to how incidental learning occurs. The goal of the present set of experiments is to determine if visual sequential information is learned in terms of abstract rules or stimulus-specific details. Two experiments test the extent to which interaction with the stimuli can influence the information that is encoded by the learner. The results of both experiments support the claim that stimulus and domain specific details directly shape what is learned, through a process of tuning the neuromuscular systems involved in the interaction between the learner and the materials.

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2013

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Bullying, loneliness, and future responses to stress

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Bully victimization has been associated with blunted cardiovascular responses to stress as well as elevated responses to stress. The difference between these altered physiological responses to stress is largely unknown. This study explored several possible moderators to the relationship between

Bully victimization has been associated with blunted cardiovascular responses to stress as well as elevated responses to stress. The difference between these altered physiological responses to stress is largely unknown. This study explored several possible moderators to the relationship between chronic stress and future cardiac output (an indicator of increased stress) in response to future stressors. These moderators include the difference between social and physical stressors and individual levels of loneliness. Participants were administered measures of loneliness and victimization history, and led to anticipate either a "social" (recorded speech) or "non-social" (pain tolerance test ) stressor, neither of which occurred. EKG and impedance cardiography were measured throughout the session. When anticipating both stressors, loneliness and victimization were associated with increased CO. A regression revealed a three-way interaction, with change in cardiac output depending on victimization history, loneliness, and condition in the physical stressor condition. Loneliness magnified the CO output levels of non-bullied individuals when facing a physical stressor. These results suggest that non- bullied participants high in loneliness are more stressed out when facing stressors, particularly stressors that are physically threatening in nature.

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2013

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Music therapist-child interaction for a child diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder with applied behavior analysis prompts and fading procedures

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The purpose of this research study provided observational techniques and Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) prompts and fading procedures to analyze music therapist-child interaction for child with autism spectrum disorder. Impaired social interaction is the primary symptom of a child with

The purpose of this research study provided observational techniques and Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) prompts and fading procedures to analyze music therapist-child interaction for child with autism spectrum disorder. Impaired social interaction is the primary symptom of a child with autism spectrum disorder. However, social interaction exists everywhere and throughout human life. Therefore, to improve interaction is the primary and significant goal in music therapy treatment for a child with autism spectrum disorder. The music therapist designs a series of music therapy activity interventions in order to create a therapeutic environment, based on a child's interests and favorite activities. Additionally, the music therapist utilizes the music to build the quality of relationship and interaction with child and support child practicing interaction with the therapist. Then music therapist utilizes the process of interaction to improve child's social interaction. Once the child achieves at desired behavior, he/she has ability to apply the music therapy techniques independently in the real world situations, such as family and schools that the child has learned throughout the process of interaction with therapist. The participants were three children with autism spectrum disorder and two certified music therapists (MT-BC). The researcher calculated the number of prompts and cues which the therapists provided, and the number of appropriate responses by each child in each activity intervention. Then the researcher utilized Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), prompt and fading procedure in order to analyze the progress of therapist-child interactions during the sessions. The result showed that the children had improvement in the interactions with their therapist.

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2013